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Showing entries 1 to 30 of 57 Next 27 Older Entries

Displaying posts with tag: Business models (reset)

Why I don't care about open core any more
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For reasons that I will blog about in a couple of weeks, several people last week asked me what I think about open core. My answer was that nowadays I don't care much about the topic. Long time readers of this blog might be surprised at such an answer, so I thought this was a good time to reflect on why I don't think it is very important anymore, and more importantly to document the empirical evindence that we now have about open core as a business strategy.

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From Open Source to SaaS
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I'm about to take a week off from my new gig as COO at Zendesk and it got me reflecting on the company and my decision to join.  I stayed with MySQL through the Sun acquisition and left when Oracle acquired Sun.  Although I have a lot of respect for Oracle, it seemed to me the only interesting jobs would be those that report directly to Larry Ellison.  So I took some time off to travel, worked as an EIR at Scale Ventures for a few months and began thinking about what I wanted to do next.

I turned down offers from companies and investors to come in and "repeat the MySQL playbook" in Big Data or NoSQL

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Reposting Mark Schonewille's blog on how the GPL applies to MySQL use cases
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In November a Mark Schonewille posted a blog on when you can't and cannot use the GPL version of MySQL together with your closed source application. The post was a result of actually talking to an Oracle lawyer which makes it valuable information. Unfortunately Mark's blog is now offline (it seems he didn't renew his domain registration?)

This is just a repost of the disappeared blog post. (The small print allows me to copy it verbatim.) There is no commentary from myself, except that what Mark wrote is the same I also heard Oracle say a year ago. That Oracle is being consistent on this point is very welcome and deserves to be kept available online.

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How to grow your open source project 10x and revenues 5x
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Some time ago I was asked to do a study of our most popular open source projects to assess 1) what governance models are out there and 2) if the governance model has any effect on the project's success (such as size of developer community) on the one hand and on the other hand on the business of the related vendor(s). Some of the results are quite remarkable and have general applicability, so I wanted to share them here:

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Recommended reading: Control and Community by The 451 Group
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The 451 Group's annual report on the state of the open source business world is out. Already the title: Control and Community suggests they are once again on top of what has been going on this year. Analyzing about 300 open source related businesses they not only "get it right", but were actually able to uncover some facts even I was unaware of and this impressed me a lot. If an analyst can dig up statistics to back up something that I already "intuitively" know in my heart, that is a useful service. But if they can make me go "ah, I didn't know that" on a topic I consider myself quite an expert in, the I'm impressed!

This is an analyst report, available for a price that would be completely unreasonable for a private person. I was pondering whether I should go begging for a free

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CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.11.12
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Topics for this podcast:

*Our latest CAOS Special Report – Control and Community
*Red Hat releases RHEL 6
*Symbian and Oracle highlight community challenges
*The latest on government adoption of OSS from GOSCON
*Open core issue continues, now with Linux and evil twins

iTunes or direct download (31:02, 8.5MB)

Is MySQL open core?
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Or, how we evaluate a company’s open source-related business strategy.

Godwin’s law states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches”.

An online discussion about open source-related business strategies is no exception. However, long before the Nazi comparison it is inevitable that someone will ask “is MySQL open core?”.

I updated our 2009 post “what is open core, and what isn’t” recently, and received some criticism of my statement that the MySQL strategy was not open core.

Since we have recently published a report including the results of

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Links: Andy Updegrove on the trend of Foundations, LWN.net on OpenSQLCamp,
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Links for today:

Community Rights and Community Wrongs
The Launch of the Document Foundation and the Oxymoron of Corporate Controlled "Community" Projects

Andy Updegrove makes observations of the trend in hosting Open Source projects in non-profit foundations rather than one company, much boosted by Oracle's acquisition and abandonment of Sun's software assets.

Knowing that an organization is “safe” to join, and will be managed for the benefit of the many and not of the privileged few, is one of the key attributes and assurances of “openness.”

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What is open core licensing (and what isn’t) UPDATED
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This is an updated version of a post that was originally published in July 2009. It has been updated in response to ongoing confusion about open core licensing.

There has been a significant amount of interest in the open core licensing strategy since Andrew Lampitt articulated it and its benefits for combining open source and closed source licensing.

There remains considerable confusion about exactly what the open core licensing strategy is, however, which is strange since the term arrived fully packaged with a specific definition, courtesy of Andrew. Recently I have begun to wonder whether many of the people that use the term open core regularly

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Open source and Windows 8: spotlight on Microsoft’s open source interop strategy
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It seems safe to say that Oracle is currently ahead of Microsoft when it comes to the company with the most contentious relationship with open source. To some extent that is due Oracle’s questionable approach to community, but it must also be noted that Microsoft has managed not to put its foot in it for a while.

In Microsoft 2009 published its first companywide perspective on open source, made its first contributions to the Linux kernel, and created the CodePlex Foundation, an independent entity designed to encourage its developers and other companies to contribute more to open source software projects.

Doubts have remained about Microsoft’s ongoing commitment, however, with the company being labeled opportunistic in its approach to open source, and skepticism persists – particularly in relation to software patents. We have recently published a new

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The golden age of open source?
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Stephen O’Grady and Simon Phipps have both recently published interesting posts on the current state of open source, with Stephen pondering the relative growth of open source and Simon wondering whether the “commercial open source” bubble has burst.

What they are describing, I believe, is the culmination of the trends we predicted at the beginning of 2009 for commercial open source business strategies – specifically the arrival of the fourth stage of commercial open source.

What is the fourth stage of commercial open source? In short: a return to a

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The open core issue (part two)
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In the first part of this post I discussed the underlying division that drives the debate about open core, and the futility of arguing about what constitutes an “open source company” without any relevant definition.

Since then Monty Widenius has proposed a definition that would exclude any company that does not produce open source software (including open source support providers) and any company that does not provide access to 100% of its code (which would often exclude Red Hat as it moves to open source acquired code).

In the meantime others have declared that there is no such thing as an open source company and

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So if I don't call myself 'open source vendor', then everything is fine? (yes)
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A lot has been written for and against open core now. Yet in the end, a couple tweets can catch all that is needed:

scurryn @h_ingo -- So as long as 'an open core vendor' doesn't call themselves 'an open source vendor' then everything's fine?

h_ingo @scurryn: pretty much. I think I owe everyone one more blog post to answer that question with a few more details.

(Twitter)

This is that blog post.

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If you're selling to your community... you've got it backwards.
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My ongoing dialogue with Matthew Aslett inspired me to read more of his recent writings. An excellent piece Do not sell anything to your community is based on a blog post by Stephen Walli.

Inspired by Stephen, I also looked into a set of slides I recently created and will try that style for this post...

Aslett and Stephen make a great point:

the conversion of community users into paying customers has long been a concern for open source-related vendors. It has also long been a source of friction, with vendors that offer proprietary extensions being accused of “bait and switch” or otherwise undermining

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Open core is not open source and don't trust someone trying to convice you otherwise
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Oh my. I was outside painting my house for a few days, and when I return back online I discover that now everyone is having an opinion on the open core business model. Since some participants are still trying to promote it as a valid open source business model, let's see what everyone is saying and highlight any pitfalls being offered...

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Open core is not open source
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Julie Bort of Networkworld.com has an interview with Mårten Mickos of Eucalyptus, formerly of MySQL. In MySQL times it seemed (to me at least) that most users never realized Mårten and his management team were taking MySQL increasingly into a closed source direction. (Maybe I'm just stupid myself, but at least personally I had not noticed this until after I started working for the company.) In this interview Mårten at least comes squarely out of the closet and is defending the model.

Julie makes a good journalistic effort of reporting on the topic from a neutral point of view. Alas, sometimes that approach just makes things fuzzier. So let me try to make one thing clear: Open core may be a good business model, but open core

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Book on Finnish startups includes chapter on MySQL AB
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Tekes, a Finnish government agency funding R&D in Technology and Innovation (including MariaDB) has recently published a book on Finnish startups, (PDF), which contains a whole chapter on MySQL AB.

It seems to be a well researched chapter and references many past interviews over the years, as well as being based on interviews of at least Mårten, Monty and Kevin Harvey of Benchmark. This is the most comprehensive narrative I've ever seen of items like "InnoDB Friday", a phrase I thought until now was company confidential, since talking about it would have revealed there was something negative about

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Let he who is without proprietary features cast the first stone
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If the recent debate about open core licensing has proven one thing, it is that the issue of combining proprietary and open source code continues to be a controversial one.

It ought to be simple: either the software meets the Open Source Definition or it does not. But it is not always easy to tell what license is being used, and in the case of software being delivered as a service, does it matter anyway?

The ability to deliver software as a hosted service enables some companies that are claimed to be 100% open source to offer customers software for which the source code is not available. Coincidentally, James Dixon has this week highlighted

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Please break our open source business strategy model
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Last week I presented “From support services to software services – the evolution of open source business strategies” at the OSBC event in San Francisco.

The presentation was effectively a work in progress update on our research into the various strategies employed by technology vendors to generate revenue from open source software.

It included a partial explanation of my theory that those strategies do not exist in isolation, but are steps on an evolutionary process, and also introduced our model for visualizing the core elements of an open source-related business strategy.

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Dual of denial, on the success and failure of dual licensing
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There’s been a fair amount of attention – both positive and negative – on dual licensing in recent weeks. A few days ago Brian Aker wrote: “The fact is, there are few, and growing fewer, opportunities to make money on dual licensing.”

It is a sweeping statement, but one that is worth further consideration, especially since, as Stephen O’Grady noted it is directly contradicted by Gartner’s prediction that: “By 2012, at least 70% of the revenue from commercial OSS will come from vendor-centric projects with dual-license business models.”

Success?

I remember reading this

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Don’t fear the reaper. Why FOSS should not fear M&A by proprietary vendors
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A couple of posts have been published recently worrying about the impact of more open source specialist vendors being acquired by proprietary vendors.

This is an issue that crops up occasionally. Usually when a major acquisition has been announced, and the current questioning seems to be driven by the ongoing saga of Oracle-Sun-MySQL, as well as the rumoured purchase of Zimbra by VMware.

While fear of the unknown is understandable, to my mind the concern about open source specialists being acquired by proprietary vendors is driven by parochialism and misplaced assumptions about the rate of acquisitions and the acquiring company’s intentions.

For a start the statistics suggest that

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Everything you always wanted to know about MySQL but were afraid to ask – part three
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Since the European Commission announced it was opening an in-depth investigation into the proposed takeover of Sun Microsystems by Oracle with a focus on MySQL there has been no shortage of opinion written about Oracle’s impending ownership of MySQL and its impact on MySQL users and commercial partners, as well as MySQL’s business model, dual licensing and the GPL.

In order to try and bring some order to the conversation, we have brought together some of the most referenced blog posts and news stories in chronological order.

Part one took us from the announcement of the EC’s in-depth investigation up to the eve of the communication of the EC’s Statement of Objections.

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CAOS Theory Podcast 2009.12.04
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Topics for this podcast:

*As the Oracle-Sun-MySQL EC world turns
*Google gets its Web on with Go and Chrome
*Open source and cloud computing complement, compete
*How transparent is your open core?

iTunes or direct download (26:20, 6.0 MB)

The Affero GPL does not solve the open source/cloud revenue dilemma
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A number of people have recently raised the issue of the threat that cloud computing poses to the monetization of open source by specialist vendors, including Savio Rodrigues, Matt Asay, and Mike Hogan.

I believe that cloud computing provides an opportunity for open source specialists, but agree that cloud services based on open source code could potentially eat into the business opportunities for open source specialists since the cloud providers have no requirements

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Everything you always wanted to know about MySQL but were afraid to ask - part two
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Since the European Commission announced it was opening an in-depth investigation into the proposed takeover of Sun Microsystems by Oracle with a focus on MySQL there has been no shortage of opinion written about Oracle’s impending ownership of MySQL and its impact on MySQL users and commercial partners, as well as MySQL’s business model, dual licensing and the GPL.

In order to try and bring some order to the conversation, we have brought together some of the most referenced blog posts and news stories in chronological order.

Part one took us from the announcement of the EC’s in-depth investigation up to the eve of the communication of the EC’s Statement of Objections.

Part two, below, takes us from there to

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Copyright/left at the centre of open source business strategies
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Below is a rough draft of the cornerstone slide for a new presentation deck I am putting together to explain the various business strategies for monetizing open source software. The aim is to explain every single existing strategy using the elements on this one slide (although I am yet to test it out).

In our previous discussions about business strategies we have noted that there are four elements that shape a business strategy around open source software: the open source software license; the development strategy; the end user license strategy; and the revenue trigger.

As can be seen from the slide above, I have added a fifth element: copyright control. Copyright was previously considered in our research around business strategies but was seen more as an underlying

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Everything you always wanted to know about MySQL but were afraid to ask - part one
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Since the European Commission announced it was opening an in-depth investigation into the proposed takeover of Sun Microsystems by Oracle with a focus on MySQL there has been no shortage of opinion written about Oracle’s impending ownership of MySQL and its impact on MySQL users and commercial partners, as well as MySQL’s business model, dual licensing and the GPL.

In order to try and bring some order to the conversation, we have brought together some of the most referenced blog posts and news stories in chronological order. Part one, below, takes us from the announcement of the EC’s in-depth investigation up to the eve of the communication of the EC’s Statement of Objections. We will continue to update part two

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What about Woman’s Hour? Free speech, free markets and the future of MySQL
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A controversial issue in the UK this week is the BBC’s decision to invite the British National Party - the far-right, whites-only political party - to appear on Question Time, the BBC’s flagship political debate programme.

Critics fear that the move will legitimise the BNP’s far-right views, while the BBC has defended the invitation on the grounds that its role as a politically neutral public service broadcaster would be undermined if it excluded the BNP - which won its first European Parliament seats this year with an estimated million votes.

To me it is clear that no matter how abhorrent the BNP’s policies on certain issues may be the BBC has a duty to invite it to participate as it is a legitimately

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FOSS: War is over (if you want it)
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At the Open World Forum event in Paris this morning I presented a quick overview of the state of free and open source software in 2009 and a look at the trends shaping FOSS into the next decade. The presentation was just 10 minutes rather than the 20 I had originally understood it to be, so I wanted to use the blog to expand a little on the discussion and my thinking.



War is over (if you want it)

Aside from the ongoing adoption of open source, one of the trends that has defined FOSS in 2009 has been the numerous


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451 CAOS Links 2009.09.18
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Citrix joins the Linux Foundation. BonitaSoft raises $3m. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# Citrix joined The Linux Foundation.

# Open source BPM vendor BonitaSoft raised $3m from Ventech and Auriga Partners.

# Jaspersoft updated JasperReports Professional with enhanced data visualization.

# US CIO Vivek Kundra outlined the government’s cloud strategy, using NASA’s open source Nebula cloud.

# Infobright claimed to have increased its customer base


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Showing entries 1 to 30 of 57 Next 27 Older Entries

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